A strong start to the second half of the 2015-16 season was the goal for the Cal women’s golf team heading into the Peg Barnard Invitational. The Bears reached their goal, finishing third out of 13 teams at the Stanford Golf Course, in Palo Alto, California, on Saturday and Sunday.
Cal finished behind No. 2 Stanford and the winner of the tournament, No. 10 Washington. In the two-day, two-round, 36-hole tournament Cal performed so well this past weekend that it had moved up in the rankings from No. 21 to No. 15.
The tournament also saw solid individual finishes from senior Hannah Suh and sophomore Marthe Wold both placing in the top 10, tying for 6th place. They both shot 71(E) in the first day and 72 (+1) after the second with a final score of 143 (+1). As a team the Bears finished the first day of play with a 289 (+5) and finished the second day with a total of 288 (+4). This led them to finish the overall competition at 577 (+9), which was six strokes behind the Huskies’ winning score.
After the first 18 holes, the women were only four shots off from first place. An exciting down-to-the-wire tournament continued during the second day of competition as Cal was right there with the top-two teams playing for the win in the final nine holes. The Bears fell short as Washington came from behind from fourth place after the first day of competition beating out Stanford by only three strokes to win its second consecutive Peg Barnard Invitational.
Washington started off the second day of tournament six strokes off first place. The Huskies used a stellar final round to take first place. They were able to beat out the rest of the competition by having three players on their team — Wenyung Keh, Ying Luo and Julianne Alvarez — finish the front nine under par, which would be just enough to hold on over the back nine. These golfers would go on to post 15 birdies, out of 18 for the team, and no double bogeys, helping their team finish the tournament 571 (+3).
After the first tournament of the new year, there is very much positive to reflect on but still more to learn as the season progresses.
“We are happy with the effort, and it is a good starting place for us. To be in the mix coming down the last nine holes is what we prepare for every practice,” said Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel. “To play alongside (then-) third-ranked Stanford and (then-) 12-ranked Washington and be in it is an energy boost for us. We are realizing we can play with the top 10 teams.”
For the team, this point of the season is all about having the right mindset to improve.
“We have pride in taking one day, one hour, one minute, one shot at a time and that is a very difficult task,” McDaniel said. “We are getting better each time we tee it up. We want to continue working on having a clear committed focus going into and through every shot we make.”
Oscar Oxlaj covers men’s golf. Contact him at [email protected]